An outdoor pizza oven is one of the coolest and most doable, inexpensive home DIY projects in existence; you don’t have to be a genius or wealthy to make one, and they offer a completely revitalizing (and fairly green) aesthetic addition to your backdoor space. Here’s a how-to for those of you interested in making and installing your own outdoor pizza oven.
First off, you’ll have to collect some materials before you begin building. Go out and get yourself some concrete mix, a cement mixer or large tubs for mixing, large and small cement trowels, a grout bag, a welder, a circular saw, safety glasses and rubber work gloves, a shovel, a tape measure, 8-inch cinderblocks, exterior grade plywood, an angle iron, rebar, brick tile, and an oven kit that includes 5 basic elements, two dome elements, a metal door with a thermometer, a flue manifold 6-inch interior diameter, an arch, a thermal insulating blanket, and refractory mortar.
Pizza ovens are easier and safer to use when they’re at waist height (at least) so you’re going to want to plan to make a base for your oven as well. One of the easiest and most structurally sound ways of going about this is to build up a wall of cinder blocks. Stagger the blocks and line up the holes in vertical tube form so that you can then fill them up with cement- you want your base to be strong enough to hold your oven, which promises to be very heavy. The inner most cinder blocks don’t need to be filled but the top ones will benefit from the cement support.
A cinder block base is functional but not aesthetically pleasing- luckily as far as dressing it up you have may options. Many people like to go with brick tile but you could also use stones to liven up the cinder block’s bland aesthetic. Whatever you use, just follow the manufacturer’s instructions in terms of applying it to the base.
Once the base is built, you’re ready to move on to the counter top. Like the base, the counter top must be sturdy enough to support your oven. Basic concrete counter tops work fine and can be dressed up easily with an iron frame if you have some welding skills. Wood edging can also be good-looking; just attach the exterior grade wood to the plywood from the underside using glue and galvanized nails. Lay a plywood frame on top of the base and lay rebar on top of the wood in a crisscross pattern to help support the concrete and prevent cracking or separating. Pour the concrete and use large flat trowels to give it a smooth, flat finish.
Now you’re ready to assemble your pizza oven; purchase a kit and refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for complete and correct installation. This may involve centering the oven, making its outline on your stand, then opening the bucket of refractory grout and transferring it into a larger container for easy mixing.
Good luck and enjoy your pizza oven!